A recent report compiled by a large foundation-related research organization claims, “Decline of Christianity continues at rapid pace.” In digging beneath the numbers, the problem becomes clearer.
Researchers using aggregated political polls (between 2009 and 2018/2019) wrote that the percentage of Americans identifying as “Protestant,” “Catholic,” or “Orthodox Christian” had dropped from 75 percent (three in four Americans) to 64 percent (two in three Americans). That’s a total decline of 11 percent over ten years.
In context, the total numbers of Americans self-identifying as Christians in the seventies, eighties, and up to the early-to-mid-nineties remained relatively unchanged—around 90 percent of adults.
One underreported dynamic worth noting: millennials alone make up more than a third of the total decline. Millennials self-reporting as Christians shifted from a majority (63 percent) to a minority (48 percent), for a total decline of fifteen percent.
The number of “Nones” in this group, born between 1981 and 1996, increased from roughly one in four (27 percent) to nearly every other cohort member (40 percent). Here’s the breakdown: the number of millennials claiming to be “atheist” more than doubled from 3 to 8 percent, “agnostics” went up from 6 to 9 percent, and those who identify their beliefs as “nothing in particular” spiked from 18 to 24 percent.
These young adults are also now America’s largest generation (73 million millennials compared to 72 million baby boomers, 66 million Gen Xers, and 26 million of the Greatest Generation).
The alarming loss of faith in this generation in particular, and across every other generation in general, is a clarion call for Christians to focus our energy on sharing the Gospel and reaching the lost among us. In order to do so, we must actively fight against the assault on God’s Word from every direction.
U.S. Attorney General Barr recently noted why we must defeat the attack on life and liberty (link to U.S. Attorney General Remarks … article): “First is the force, fervor, and comprehensiveness of the assault on religion we are experiencing today. This is not decay; it is organized destruction. Secularists, and their allies . . . have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”
We must continue to focus our energy on strengthening faithful churches , defending individual Christians, and defending the right to speak the truths of God’s Word in every area of life.
The National Center for Life and Liberty fights strongly for religious liberty and the right to life.